Kalangu and stick
West African, late 19th century
The hourglass drum is found throughout central West Africa. The most distinctive of these drums are the double headed pressure drum in which two heads are stretched over the characteristic waisted tube and connected by a network of lacings that allow the player to vary with arm pressure the tension of the heads, and accordingly the pitch of the drum. These instruments are often used as “talking” drums, which mimic the inflection of tonal languages.
Body of carved wood. Drum heads of animal skin fixed against either end of the tubular body by a network of plant fiber lacing. Curved stick of carved hardwood. Carrying strap of woven cloth. Overall length 65.5 cm; overall width 23 cm.
Gift of Mr. Henry van Sinderen
Accession No. 2150.1950